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Penn Station project: Not the city's need

Nate Loewentheil, Senior Policy Advisor for The White House National Economic Council, and Rep. Elijah Cummings introduced development plans for Penn Station. (Algerina Perna/Baltimore Sun video)

Those touting the prospective redevelopment of Penn Station and its surroundings suggest enthusiastically that this could induce more people who live in Washington to seek comparatively cheaper housing in Baltimore (“Amtrak names team to redevelop Baltimore’s Penn Station, surrounding Amtrak properties,” Dec. 14). They either do not know or do not care that this will drive up the cost of housing in Baltimore, which already has a shortage of affordable housing for the people who live here, who in many cases were born here and have roots in the city going back generations.

When are the so-called leaders in government and business going to act as if they might actually understand the importance of making the city work for all of us? It is past time for them to stop the endless pattern of saying, in effect, "Oh, we'll make it good for people like us, and you'll see how nice it will be. And you'll get by, or you can move, what do you mean, where, why are you always so helpless?" Baltimore does not need colonists, nor does it need relations with a company whose vice president for community development thinks we do.

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Baltimore needs leaders who understand that the community we are developing is our own, ourselves, leaders who care deeply about that community and will only welcome newcomers who respect it and want to become part of it. If the current "leaders" do not understand that, we had better replace them.

Katharine W. Rylaarsdam, Baltimore

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